Rugby World Cup 2019

22 Sep 2019 – First Rugby Match

Thu:  long drive from Ballyshannon along LoughErne on a misty Thu morning, clearing up to a beautiful day to Portrane.

Appreciations to catch up with Stephen (cousin to cousins Lock, Yun&Chai – once removed cousin to me!!)&family, but missing Trish who had to work when I got in. Chinese dinner and a fun pub-quiz (first time for me) with Stephen&Mario. Tkx to Stephen&Trish for putting me up, the only hotel@Portrane being fully booked.

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Fri: TGIF – day catching up with Stephen and a daylight pix of last night’s pub. Waited to say hi to Trish as she was working until 1500hrs before heading back to Kilcloon. The last fam pix of them was in 2012, 7yrs ago when Stephen was 5, but did not get to see him this time round as he was not well.

Was soo totally lost around the airport on the way back – counted at least 8planes landing during a bumper-bumper traffic! Back safe&sound@Ann&Mick’s before dark and a yummy fillet-steak dinner@Caffrey’s.

Sat: located app 12k W of DUB and about 20mins drive from Kilcloon is this charming&delightful village – Lucan.

Tkx to JohnK for lunch&the introduction to Carrolls Gastro Pub, good pub food. The pie was more a stew with a lid, but was tasty. Good to catch up with JohnM&Pauline who have just moved back to DUB.

Interesting to know that Pauline’s grandmother once lived in this clock building (opp the park) where she used to visit in her childhood days – do wonder what this tree trunk used to look like then?? Found my way back to Kilcloon without a single wrong turn with the GPS.

Sun: the rains were visiting when I was in dreamland last night and it is still ongoing. Started with an Irish Coffee followed by Irish Smoked Salmon breakfast with Mimosa@Caffrey’s watching my first rugby match in an Irish pub with Ireland/27 beating Scotland/3 for the 2019 Rugby World Cup held in Japan. Way to go Ireland for making my last day of this visit a great one.

Rugby is a game for barbarians played by gentlemen. Football is a game for gentlemen played by barbarians – Oscar Wilde

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Wild Atlantic Way WAW

18 Sep 2019 – Sea&Mountain Views

Mon:  early Bfast and got chatting with Alan&Andrew who told me about accommodations in some lighthouses and the 2 in this area were all booked up this whole week. Just as well, EUR500+ S$750+ is not within my budget, but was willing to try just one time – another bucket list item! A short refreshing stroll on the pebble-beach reminded me that the more simple things in life are free – found a couple pieces of beautiful rocks.

Heading to Buncrana, still on the Inishowen Peninular hoping to catch the car ferry across to Rathmullen, but alas no ferry on the weekends as summer is considered over. Drove on to Inch Island and had a break there with all the lovely red hedges and the only other ppl there were fixing a new pier.

Nice drive

With no one behind or in front, A Lam has the time to watch her dinner taking time to cross the road while enjoying the nature around.

Fanad Lighthouse, one of those with accommodation.

Gas EUR35 S$53 before HarryBlaney Bridge (2009) connecting the Fanad peninsula to Carrigart Village, saves some time when driving on WAW. Too many detours trying to chase the sunset@Bloody Foreland. Had to call it the day before it got dark – driving&hiking in the dark for me is to ask for trouble. B&B@Teac Jack, Carrick, Derrybeg EUR50 S$76 – night3.

Tue: heading on the WAW direction, but could not find the way out of Dungloe due to roadworks, so decided to turn around and head for the mountains and am sure glad that I listen to my instinct.

The weather is on my side with this drive around the Derryveagh Mt Range – Mt Errigal 751m is the tallest here.

It is seldom that I see a church with this kind of round tower – Church of the Sacred Heart (1876-77), Dunlewey.

The ghostly old church@Dunlewey can be seen (pix zoomed in to max) and the history behind these 2churches is very interesting. In the graveyard lies a single gravestone … a man who was in a mixed marriage (he was Church of Ireland, she was Catholic). He died first and was buried here but she, being a Catholic, didn’t want to be buried here. She’s buried in the Catholic church across the valley. However, even in death she wanted to remember her husband and her grave in the Catholic graveyard faces across the valley to her husband’s resting place (the other gravestones in the Catholic church point a different way to hers).

Blue Stack Mts and it was such a luxury&privilege to practically have the roads and the mts to myself&a zoomed-in horsey.

View to the ancient Valley of Glencolmcille.

Fintragh Bay – did not linger as the sun was setting fast and got into Killybegs just in time before it got dark. BayView Hotel Killybegs, Ireland largest fishing town EUR65 S$100 – night4

Wed: fishing boats are right in front of the hotel and had Bfast with a view. A morning walk to watch the fishermen at work with their nets.

The church is just around the corner of the hotel.

St John’s Point and most of the roads on this narrow peninsula are so narrow that one has to stop and find some space when meeting on-coming traffic. St John’s Lighthouse (another lighthouse with accommodation), took a short hike around the surroundings as I do not know when I can be so near the Atlantic Ocean again. Must ask Morten what those yellow colour growth are in the rocks.

Got off the road early today. The sunset from the bedroom window. Heron’sCove, Creevy just a few mins from Ballyshannon EUR55 S$84 – night5

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The Giant Causeway

16 Sep 2019 – And County Donegal

Sat: 0730hrs heading off towards the north on this lovely morning. Taking a detour (will now call it that whenever I am lost!) at this upside down boots closed-down pub somewhere near Slane. Breakfast at the only place opened and nice stroll around Slane with the gable mural of Francis Ledwidge (1887-1917) – tkx to Geoffrey Keating for knowing his Irish poet.

And I was wondering in my mind
How many would remember me – Francis Ledwidge

 

Somewhere between Monaghan-Dungannon-Cookstown (now in UK), more detours to discover some delightful building&garden next to the church of St Michael’s Castlecaulfield & St Patrick’s just outside Dungannon town . If on route as planned, would have driven straight thru’ and missing out these. Gas@Portrush GBP32 S$55

Night1: 12 High Rd@Portstewart – clean&well-run B&B including breakfast GBP41 S$70.

Sun: 0700hrs headed down the coastal road to The Giants Causeway – nature is just sooo amazing that words will not do justice until you have step on these rocks – not tempting fate to walk out by the edge of the ocean today. Today’s waves look too intimidating&treacherous.

Was intentionally there early to avoid crowds in the weekend and being one of maybe 2-3 other ppl around. Nothing was opened but was happy to have step foot with the Giants. On the way back on the coastal road passing by Bushmills Distillery, would have visited as it is one of the whisky I like.

Dunluce Castle, White Rocks and back to the B&B for breakfast before checking out.

Mussenden Temple (1785) Game of Thrones filming location is on the surroundings of Downhill Demesne near Castlerock perched dramatically on a 120ft cliff top, high above the Atlantic Ocean. 

Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you― George Martin

Back to the Republic and to the county of Donegal. Did have my passport if needed, but there have been so far been no boarders, signs or anything, except for the different flag and when you have to buy something in cash that would make you think that you are travelling in 2different countries

Stroove Lighthouse, not open to public

Malin Head – Ireland’s most Northern point and if you stare&look long enough out to the Atlantic Ocean, you can image the Eastern US coast!

Night2: SeaviewTavan, Ballygorman, MalinHeadIreland’s most Northerly Seafood Restaurant&LoungeBar. A room with the ocean view+dinner (yummy Donegal mussels)+a drink&Bfast EUR88 S$133.

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Ireland 2019

13 Sep 2019 – TGIF, Happy Mid-Autumn&Safe Fri13th To All

Tue: safe&sound in DUB after a 1hr delay to take off from OSL but caught up with time in the air. Had the best service@Europcar rental by a X-student, Shuana from Balbriggen Convent when she discovered that I used to teach there. After getting lost a few times, did find my way to Ann&Mick in Kilcloon who made a yummy baked-ham dinner. Showed them a pix where I got lost, and was told that it is a road with many pot-holes! and it must have been where I was lost. Thank goodness had no problems driving to their house and it was not until the next day that we discovered the flat. Tkx to Mick for getting the spare-wheel put in.

04Wed: woke up to this lovely view from the bedroom. The view from the kitchen with a productive garden in the background where these chocolate tomatoes grown. These are the first I have seen, and no they taste like tomatoes and not chocolate.

In memory of 2,996 (2,977 victims + 19 hijackers) who lost their lives on 9.11.2001 in NYC. Pix downloaded.

Cliff at Lyons Hotel – a collection of charming historic village houses, a barrack, forge&mill situated by the Grand Canal.

Lunch@Trellis café where I had a gin-tonic with a Caesar salad

Would certainly not mind staying here for some days during weekdays when no weddings are on-going!

Formally Lyons Estate in 1797 with interesting history of  adultery, duel&treason after Nicolas Lawless, 1st Baron Cloncurry purchased the Lyons estate from the heirs of the Aylmer family. It has since been thru’ other hands including UCD and Tony Ryan, co-founder of Ryanair.

A Lam in the Lyons’ den – Geoffrey Keating/one of SIN Irish Ambassadors

Thu:  short walk down memory lane on&off Grafton St – St Teresa’s Church/Clarendon St where I used to donate in return for candles to the Christmas tree when we used real candles then!

Grafton St: my favourtie cherry sticky bun place, but then it was just call Bewley’s then, looking down Anne St S to St Ann’s Church, on the corner of Wicklow St where BrownThomas&Weir&Sons are still located, new ice-cream joint.

Corner of Earlsford’s Terrace where ACD day&boarding school was located in 1965, University Church/first life-concert for Handel Messiah Concert/1965,  Shelbourne Hotel/first Ball 1965.

Tkx to Ann&Mick for yummy comfort food – Shepard’s Pie@Doheny & Nesbitt/Baggot St, a pub with a lot personality and a cozy little private booth.

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Fri: roast-lamb pub lunched with Margaret@Caffrey’s – was here for breakfast and like this pub then and still like it now.

May the roof above us never fall in, and the friends gathered below never fall out.

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Tkx to Kitty who is visiting Ciara&family for a fun ABBA evening@Carton House on this Fri the 13th full moon night.

Kolboltgruvene/Cobalt Mines

10 Sep 2019 – Kittelsen Museum

Sat: May did such an excellent job with these baked goods – more rains and the house will be packed with ppl. Time for a trip to IKEA to get a few things before I take off. Spotted this fine looking guy in a beautiful bunad – traditional Norwegian clothes from various rural regions. Bunad, by the Norsebunadr which originally means equipment, is a new word that has been used since the 20th century on several types of clothes in Norway, primarily about modern, historical party costumes constructed in the first half of the 20th century inspired by regional costume traditions of the peasant population in the18th centuries. May is getting one made from the Telemark region (her connection there, the mountains she goes to since a baby) and I can’t wait to see the finished product, its going to be absolutely stunning.

#6 has more than enough stuffed animals to fill this and have been wanting to get him one since sometime ago. The new toy is very tempting for this grandmother! but maybe the grandkids are all growing out of these!! Like the cafe in Slependen IKEA where there are all kinds of comfortable sitting arrangements to chill and get your shopping list together+a bite. Today’s choice was a shrimp open-face sandwich with a side of beets which went well for me, blueberry cake was so-so, will not get it again, but wanted to just try it once.

Sun: Kolboltgruvene/Cobalt mines, former mining area in Skuterudåsen (app 1+hr drive from OSL).

#6&Jens had fun for Barnas Stein og Trolldag/Children’s stone&troll day today where they could dig for their own gold&other stones while I enjoyed a nice stroll around the area. All the stones were hand-picked in the sand by #6, bought the gold-leaf flakes NOK60 S$9.50.

Theodor Kittelsen (1857-1914) – like his inspiration from the Norwegian nature and his imagination with the trolls that caught my attention many moons ago.

Excited&thrilled to discover that this museum with a view is located here@Skuterudhøyden over Modum, Tyrifjorden&Ringerike. Checking if the imagination will let the trolls in, but being daylight, they have all turned into stones!

Nice front room with a view, ?? Soria Moria (1911).

På vei til gilde i trollslottet (1904), Smålltroll fra Jondalen, Skogtroll/Forest Troll (1906), Du Slette Tid. 

Mon: packed. Dinner for the family@ArtePazza – good salad&pizza NOK700 S$108. http://www.artepazza.no/

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Go you must.
No guest shall stay
in one place for ever.
Love will be lost
if you sit too long
at a friend’s fire – The Havamal or Book of Viking Wisdom

Hurricane Dorian

6 Sep 2019 – Hello To Many Birthdays

Mon: day to clean, clear, pack and to track Hurricane Dorian which recently left a trail of destruction on Abaco Islands and now hovering around the coast of East FL, bringing back memories from the FL hurricane days of this life’s journey.

Tue: tkx to Stein for getting me to the airport in good time so the I could take these pix. Quite a change to be in an airport where I can see from one end to the other for DEP Gates 21-25. The other end down some stairs are DEP Gates 16-20. But where are the DEP Gates for 1-15??

Quite a contrast of aerial view from after TOS take-off to landing in OSL. Safe&sound in OSL after an uneventful ahead of schedule 1hr45min NorwegianAir flight. There are no complains when the welcome back is a hug from #6.

Wed: today St Elisabeth in TOS is a hotel, but in 1978 it was a hospital with a maternity ward then. Exactly 41yrs ago today, I was there and as quoted on the wall – With screams and tears the greatest joy is born – pix downloaded. Happy Bday to my 2nd-born!

The rains were non-stop and heavy at times today – good that the Bday girl decided to drive and run errands at the mall where I could pick up cakes&wines+gifts for another Bday tomorrow! Would have been a challenge to carry all the shopping by public transport, but what a perfect day to nap.

So far, FL has been spared from Dorian. Thoughts&prayers now out to those in GA and hope that it not make anymore landfalls but head out back to the Atlantic Ocean or weaken if it has to hit…

https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/storm-tracker/

Thu: after all the animations, toys, etc managed to find&download this pix for #6 8thBday today! Can anyone tell me if this pix is photo-shopped or do tortoise really carry their babies on their back?? Just learnt that in Norwegian word skilpadde means both tortoise&turtle. Started the day with 3different sorts of cakes – Carrot, Napoleon&Marzipan which the BdayBoy had a bite of all 3 and Marzipan is what he liked best, but this adorable boy is even sweeter than all the cakes put together in the world.

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IMG_6054Fri: TGIF and a sigh of relief that Dorian has passed by SC. Appreciations to Torill for taking the time to have lunch@Ville Paradiso. She is now a grandmother of 2.

Quite nostalgic to be just across the road from 17JacobAalls gate – could see the windows where M&B+#6 used to live. Good salad&pizza+Mimosa  NOK590 S$91

A man is no island, his own whole; still a bit of a continent, part of the mainland (Donne, 2010: 113). This is how Thomas Ugelvik opens one of the sections in the introductory chapter to Social control by quoting the work of the English poet John Donne from 1624 (Ugelvik, 2019:12). Thomas is Torill’s first-born who were our next door neighbour@Kolsås in the 1980s.

Sherpatrappa/staircase

1 Sep 2019 –  Nattevandring i Tromsø – Night Walk In Tromsø

Fri: TGIF – getting laundry, etc done before going out to play for the last weekend of my stay here.

Sat: waking up to cloudy&wet weathers, still uncertain about tonight’s night-walk but preparing to go if the weather clears. Morning walk into town at the farmers market to discover that my umbrella broke and my raincoat is getting to be not so effective. This used book-store was a good place to be while waiting for the rains to give way. Decided to take the bus back and here is the most appropriate time to apply this saying –  There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing…

The weather cleared for me to walk into town again, mainly downhill, explains the problems with knees! App 15mins to walk into town, but at least 30mins to walk back up the hills (10mins on the bus). From this rainbow, you will certainly find the pot of gold as it ended in the bank or you can look at it at another angle that it started at the bank but did not quite reach the church – but got to the start up of this event with the band just setting up.

1600hrs and this events starts at 1900hrs. Besides the band set-up, there was no one else in the square with Tromsdalstinden’s top (1,328m), still covered with clouds when I started.

Having the weather on my side, decided to walk these 1,000+stairs as I have been wanting to do so since I knew about this Sherpatrappa/staircase – built in 2016 by the Nepalese mountain road workers from Khunde Village/Nepal. Met&talked to 2 of them 2days ago when they were repairing these stairs and can understand why they would be the best ppl to built this after being on a hike in Nepal. Started way before dark to avoid the crowds, but bumping into this young fit brave chap who carried his bicycle up to cycle down the path, not on the steps as he so told me when I asked!

1830hrs: enjoying a salmon dinner with blueberry pie for dessert NOR313 S$48 while watching the first few ppl to cross the bridge, now closed to cars (1900-2200hrs), etc except for emergency vehicles – pix zoomed in to the max, thus not clear.

Probably this will be one of the most beautiful sunset I will experience from here and yes we all need to do something about this climate change, otherwise there will not be sunsets like these.

Got lucky with the weather. So good to see ppl gathering to support this good cause and also ppl with their tents to stay for the concert starting at 2300hrs. Might have lingered if I had my ear-plugs+my hiking gears, but not meant to be.

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2100hrs time for me to head down on the cable-car, without head-lights it would be suicidal for me to attempt the steps in the dark. Getting pass the lines for F&B while trying to get to the cable-car was intimidating for me. Those who know me will also know that there is no way I can handle a crowd of 7,000ppl without getting a heart-attack!!

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Walking to the bridge and the last 10mins on the bridge (reopened to cars at 2200hrs) without cars and cheering on the last walker. Reaching back to see from the kitchen window that there were ppl still heading up these steps at midnight when I finally finished with a shower and headed to bed.

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Thank you to Norad  https://norad.no/en/front/

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Some fantastic pix downloaded from Norad link by David González (3above), Ole-Martin Sandness and Marius Douglas Oterhals (below).

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Grateful to MotherNature for co-operating, appreciations to the organizers (Norad) and the participants to make this happened. Blessed to have had the experience.

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Sun: even this mountain is smiling at&with 🙂 me to another beautiful day in life. Goodbye Aug and welcome Sep. Again zoomed to the max! Thank you to Laila&Morten for yummy fish-soup dinner and raspberry dessert, all fresh produce from their own garden, good to catch up with Marit (Laila’s sis). Time to bid farewell to family Hald for this time round.

4 Sep – Happy Bdays MayH (41) & Vince (57)

5 Sep – Happy Bday Olai (8)

8 Sep – Happy Alfred

11 Sep – Happy Bdays Steven & MayY

15 Sep – Happy Bday Ting Ting

16 Sep – Happy Bdays Ivy & Edith

20 Sep – Happy Bday AmyR

21 Sep – Happy Bday Greg

23 Sep – Happy Bdays Joyce & Klaus

24 Sep – Happy Bday Yun

25 Sep – HappyBday Kat

30 Sep Happy Bday Mabel, DaisyL & Valerie